The HSE has reported more than 1,000 social media posts for misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccination programme.
he majority of the complaints – or 739 in total – related to posts on Twitter, many of which remain on the popular social media platform.
Another 291 reports were made about comments and posts on Facebook, while just three complaints related to posts or stories on Instagram.
The level of reporting by the HSE has fallen dramatically since earlier this year and was hit markedly by the cyberattack on the health services in mid-May.
The 1,034 misinformation reports cover a period between the start of February and the first few days of August of this year and were released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The HSE said it had only been keeping formal records of this activity since February and that content was usually reported in “batches”.
An information note said it welcomed the work being done by social networks to counteract misinformation and disinformation relating to Covid-19 and vaccines.
The HSE said: “Twitter has worked closely with us since before the pandemic, and other social networks since the start of the pandemic, to signpost users of their platforms, to factual, evidence-based information on the HSE website on a range of topics.”
It said it reported posts that were potentially harmful to people’s health and contained deliberate misinformation.
“It is then up to the platform to decide what action they take,” said the HSE.
“The social networks have their own community policies that enable them to evaluate if a post should be removed from their platform or action taken on the account that’s posted.”
The HSE also said that while the cyberattack had compromised their ability to report misinformation, they were now working to backdate reports.
In March, there were 439 reports made to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, about content on their platforms according to monthly logs.
However, by last month – the number of reports had fallen to just 70.